7 Quick Takes - On Giving Kids the Space to Grow Up and Make Choices
It's been a while since I did a 7 quick takes post. But I've had several interesting things I've been reading, probably all linked to by friends on facebook, up on my laptop for a week or two now and it seemed time to just share them all at once and close those tabs. Many of these are variations on a theme.
1. Three Huge Mistakes We Make Leading Kids Basically, this article talks about the problems inherent in not allowing children to take any risks, and rescuing them too soon from the consequences of their actions, their own mistakes, and work they find challenging.
2. A Nation of Wimps From Psychology Today, exploring why overprotective parenting is causing kids to be weaker, not stronger. (I told you there was a theme to my reading. ;)
3. Safety Second, (Or Maybe Even Third) I loved how they address the issue of physical safety in this article. I have lost count of the number of times a fellow parent tells me they are amazed at how well my kids can navigate playground equipment without getting hurt, and how physically confident they are, only to, in the next breath, yell at their kids to "Come down from there. It's too dangerous. You can't do that."
Kids become safer as they gain experience using their bodies. Say yes to tree climbing, wall walking and stick playing. Show kids how to fall properly (rolling) and avoid real dangers (cliffs; busy streets).4. The Neuro Science of Calming a Baby A brief little article explaining from a scientific perspective how normal it is for a crying baby to want to be picked up, how all mammals are soothed by being picked up and carried my their mothers, and why this works. Encouragement for every mama who just doesn't want to pick up the crying baby again, already, why won't they just sleep?
5. India may have created an inexpensive, about $1, rotavirus vaccine. Since rotavirus kills an estimated 450, 000 children every year, this is spectacular. India's Deadly Diarrhea Problem
6. And this one, which is likely to be controversial. Sloppy Seconds Sex Ed I was fortunate growing up to be given real and good information on how my body worked, and good and real reasons why I should respect and take care of it, and guard my sexuality. So this article just makes sense to me. My mind is boggled that there are people who really think it's better to keep their kids ignorant as to how their bodies work, and just tell them not to do anything with them. And that's not to mention the message that if you do make any mistakes your value as a person is somehow diminished because of it.
7. Because some of you will ask... What should we teach our kids about sex? My kids already pretty much know the basics of anatomy and reproduction, in an age appropriate way. It's a conversation that we have had, and will continue to have over and over as they get older. We present it as something amazing that our bodies are able to do. Just like hearts, and eyes, and our nervous system, and immune system, etc. All amazingly designed and miraculous.
When we talk to them about having sex, and where and when and with who that happens, we will tell them the truth. We will tell them that this amazing miraculous thing is precious, that it goes deep inside them, and what they choose to do with it will affect their lives. It can be amazing and wonderful and life giving. We will also tell them that just like we don't want them to put their lips in a meat grinder, because it's harmful and disfiguring, we don't want them to experience the heartbreak of being intimate with people who won't treasure them, commit to them, or be there for them when they need it. We've seen first hand, over and over again, how much pain this causes people and families, and often children conceived in these situations. We want them to live free of that. Just like we want them to drive sober and not go into a crazy amount of debt in college. We definitely won't tell them that no one will ever want them again if things don't go as we hope they will. Because that's just plain useless. Fear isn't a very good motivator when it comes to making good choices, not to mention the damage it causes on the way.